(SportsNetwork.com) - The streaking Columbus Blue Jackets will face a tough test on Sunday when they welcome the Anaheim Ducks for a showdown at Nationwide Arena.
Columbus has won three straight on the heels of an 0-4-0 slide to bring their record this season to 5-5-0. The Blue Jackets have outscored the opposition by a combined 12-4 score during its longest winning streak of the young season, beating Vancouver, New Jersey and Toronto along the way.
The Blue Jackets also are 3-0-0 on a four-game homestand that ends tonight. Columbus is 3-2-0 as the host this season and has won two of its last three home tilts against the Ducks. Columbus also has won two straight and three of the past five overall meetings against Anaheim.
Columbus was in action on Friday when it downed the Toronto Maple Leafs by a 5-2 score. Marian Gaborik netted the go-ahead score during a four-goal third period for the Blue Jackets. Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Johansen and Nick Foligno also hit the back of the net in the crucial frame for the Blue Jackets.
"We're back to .500 and now we have to start climbing the standings. This is big for us," said Dubinsky.
Ryan Murray added his first career goal and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 23 shots for the victory, as Columbus beat Toronto on home ice for the first time in more than 10 years. The last time the Blue Jackets beat the Leafs on home ice before Friday was on March 20, 2003.
After closing their homestand on Sunday, the Blue Jackets will visit Pittsburgh on Friday.
Anaheim is 8-3-0 on the season and snapped a two-game slide with Friday's 2-1 victory at Ottawa. Frederik Andersen stopped 26-of-27 shots in his first career start and Ryan Getzlaf notched a goal and an assist to help the Ducks edge the Senators at Canadian Tire Centre.
The 24-year-old Andersen, who agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Ducks prior to the game, appeared in just one other game this season when he came on in relief of starter Jonas Hiller and turned away all 24 shots he faced in an eventual 6-3 win over Dallas on Oct. 20.
Patrick Maroon potted Anaheim's other goal and Cory Perry finished with a pair of helpers for the Ducks, who had dropped the first two games on their current eight-game road trip.
"This was the effort that I'm accustomed to seeing, when everyone is doing the right things," Anaheim head coach Bruce Boudreau said.
Hiller expects to get the start on Sunday and is 5-3-2 with a 2.30 goals against average in 12 career outings against Columbus. Bobrovsky has a 2-3-0 record and a 2.78 GAA in five lifetime games versus the Ducks.